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450,000 kilometres in 26 days

450,000 kilometres in 26 days  
Filed under:
Sedans/Saloons, News, Mercedes Benz
on 06/08/2006

Source: Daimler Chrysler AG


The historical archetype of the Paris – Beijing 2006 long-distance drive with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class ninety-nine years agoThe new generation of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The new generation of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class which will be launched in the European showrooms on June 10th, faces an exceptional acid test right at the beginning: On October 21st, 33 E-Class cars with diesel drive start on a long-distance drive from Paris to Beijing, where the local production of the business saloon is currently starting.


The symbolic bridging between Europe and Asia over long stretches of the journey, follows the route of the first transcontinental car race in history which was started exactly 99 years ago on June 10th, and which led from Beijing to Paris in 62 days. With the modern E-Class cars, Mercedes-Benz aims to accomplish this journey, which in parts runs through pathless terrains, in only 26 days.


Click to enlarge


The historical archetype of the Paris – Beijing 2006 long-distance drive with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class: Ninety-nine years ago, on 10th June 1907, eleven daredevil motorists started out from Beijing in five automobiles for the world’s first transcontinental car race. Charles Godard and Jean du Tallis set out in their 15 hp Spyker car manufactured in the Netherlands.

The E-Class fleet which starts from Paris on October 21st, consists of 33 series-production E-Class models with diesel engine, some with 4-MATIC, the all-wheel-drive. Alongside 30 E 320 CDI, three E 320 BLUETEC partake in the race. Through this forward-looking technology diesel cars become particularly clean, especially through reducing the emission of nitrogen oxides.

"70 years after Mercedes-Benz as the first car producer introduced the diesel engine in passenger cars, we now want to underline the performance of our modern diesel technology with the long-distance drive from Paris to Beijing", explains Dr. Thomas Weber, member of the board of DaimlerChrysler AG, responsible for Group Research & Development of the Mercedes Car Group. Independent experts forecast a worldwide trend towards diesel cars and expect the global diesel market share to rise from currently 18 to nearly 30 per cent in 2015.

The long-distance drive Paris - Beijing 2006 will start in the heart of Paris on October 21st, and spans a total distance of approximately 13,600 kilometres, crossing the borders of eight countries, to finish in Beijing where the teams are expected to arrive on November 17th. One day later, the "AutoChina 2006" starts in Beijing, the most important automotive fair, where also the new generation of the E-Class will be presented. In this drive through France, Germany, Poland, the Baltic states, Russia, Kazakhstan, and China the sportive challenge for the participants lies in achieving the lowest possible fuel consumption on both the individual stages and in total, and all this in spite of the ambitious time schedule. Added together, the 33 E-Classes will drive more than 450,000 kilometres in 28 days, two of which are resting days for the teams. This equals more than eleven times the circumference of the equator.


Click to enlarge


The new generation of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class embarks on an exceptional acid test: On 21st October, 33 E-Class diesel cars begin a long-distance drive covering approximately 13,600 kilometres from Paris to Beijing. Along parts of the route, participants traverse difficult terrain in Russia, Kazakhstan and China.

Altogether 330 drivers will be sitting behind the steering wheels of the cars, taking the stages in turns. Amongst these are Mercedes-Benz customers from various countries, as well as journalists, taxi drivers and celebrities. Drivers interested in this challenge may apply for joining in for one of the stages on the web at www.e-class-experience.com from summer 2006.

From Paris to the Russian town of Yekaterinburg, the route of the E-Class long-distance drive mostly follows the original route of the first transcontinental car race in history, which was started in Beijing on June 10th, exactly 99 years ago. Five cars participated in the original race: an Italian Itala, a Dutch Spyker, two De Dion Boutons and a three-wheeled Contal from France.

10,000 miles later and after stresses and strains which are hard to imagine today, Scipione Borghese reached Paris after 62 days on August 10th, 1907. And he had even taken a detour over St. Petersburg to visit a ball.

The V6 diesel engine of the E 320 CDI which will be the power plant in the cars of the fleet during the long-distance drive, had its debut in May 2005, again with an unusual acid test. In three series produced E 320 CDI cars the engine completed a failure-free thirty-day test marathon on the high-speed course of Laredo, Texas.

The results were three FIA-acknowledged diesel world records over 100,000 kilometres (at an average speed of 225.93 km/h), 50,000 miles (at 225.456 km/h) and 100,000 miles (at 224 km/h). In spite of the extraordinary strains, the maintenance-free diesel particulate filter worked without any losses over the entire record distance -clear proof of the reliability and longevity of this exhaust technology.

With the long-distance drive from Paris to Beijing, Mercedes-Benz ties in with this sporty top performance.



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